April 2009

NORTHWEST VEG

We educate and empower people to make vegetarian choices for a healthy, sustainable, and compassionate world.

(503) 224-7380
info@nwveg.org

www.nwveg.org

Contents

  1. Volunteer Opportunities — Spring Fun!
  2. Northwest VEG Launches New Website
  3. Check out a Dine-out or Potluck in April
  4. Jeffrey Masson, Author of Books on Animal Emotions, Visits Portland on April 3
  5. Let Live Foundation Advances Animal Advocacy
  6. Local Leafleters for Vegan Outreach to Provide Training and Prizes in April
  7. News Bites of Late
  8. Change Your Diet, Change the Climate
  9. The Surprising Benefits of Mindful Eating
  10. Bringing Urban Farming to Historic Oregon City
  11. A Challenge to Portland Restaurants: More Raw Food Options, Please
  12. Gluten Free Baking Class to Benefit Try Vegan PDX

E-Bits, edited by Charley Korns, may be viewed on the web at www.nwveg.org/news/NWVEG_Ebits_2009_04.htm. If you are interested in writing for future E-Bits editions, please email charko@hevanet.com. The next deadline is May 22, 2009.

1. Volunteer Opportunities — Spring Fun!

tulipThanks to all our volunteers who tabled with us at the Better Living Show, March 27-29. The event was a huge success, and so many people were excited to learn about all things NW VEG!

Tabling Opportunities:

  • City Repair Annual Earth Day Celebration: April 25, Wallace Park (Chapman School, NW 25th & Quimby); Available shifts: 9am-12pm, 12-3pm, 3-6pm

Additional Opportunities:

  • Potluck co-organizers (day-of volunteers needed at the east and/or west side Portland potlucks
  • Local colleges veg adviser (assist with local student groups’ development, success and continuity)
  • How about joining the planning committee for our 5th annual Portland VegFest that will take place at the Convention Center on Sept. 19? Many roles are still available!

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Wendy Gabbe Day at volunteer@nwveg.org.

2. Northwest VEG Launches New Website

By Wendy Gabbe Day, Volunteer Coordinator

On April 1 Northwest VEG will re-launch its website with a vibrant new look, new content, significant layout updates and features that will improve navigability.

The site features frequently updated news stories, upcoming events on the home page, and a "Restaurants" section that can be sorted according to your preferences.

Watermelon Web Works created the new design and Northwest VEG volunteer Eric Day designed the database back-end that provides a content management system for us not-so-code-savvy content managers.

Stay tuned for many new additions and features to come. Enjoy navigating!

3. Check Out a Dine-out or Potluck in April

Each month, Northwest VEG organizes a veg dine-out at a restaurant and at least one vegetarian potluck. They are open to all, not only Northwest VEG members. In addition to the following events, be sure to check our frequently updated calendar: www.nwveg.org/events.php.

Saturday, April 11 (1 pm): Veg Dine-out at Nhut Quang. Join us at Portland’s vegan Vietnamese restaurant, Nhut Quang. Over 80 vegan dishes fill their menu, with plenty of noodle and rice meals with tofu or faux meats. Yummy appetizers, too! The location is 3438 NE 82nd Ave., next to the Shell gas station on the corner of NE 82nd & Fremont. Park there or around the corner. If you’re interested in the festivities, RSVP the number in your party to Charley at charko@hevanet.com. Payment is by individual party, cash or credit card. Nhut Quang will offer a 10% discount to Northwest VEG members in April!

Sunday, April 19 (5 - 7:30 pm): Northwest VEG Portland Westside Potluck. Join Northwest VEG for our monthly potluck event, featuring Bo Rinaldi of Blossoming Lotus as our after-potluck speaker. The potluck will be at the West Hills Unitarian Fellowship, 8470 Oleson Rd., Portland. Please bring a plant-based (no animal products, including honey) main dish, salad, or dessert; a card listing its ingredients; and plates and utensils for your use. If you come alone, figure the amount to serve 4–6 generously; increase the amount 4 servings for each additional person in your party/family. Northwest VEG potlucks are alcohol-free events, and we start eating at about 5:15. For more information, call (503) 224-7380 or email info@nwveg.org. If you can volunteer to help at the potluck, please contact volunteer@nwveg.org or (503) 224-7380. A donation of $2–5 per person is suggested to help cover the cost of the room rental. Following the potluck at about 6:30, join Bo Rinaldi for his presentation "Waking Up," based on work that Bo is doing with Dr. T. Colin Campbell and others documenting true life stories that can be used to inspire others and help to end our health care crisis. Visit http://healthrealized.com for more information, and join us for a great talk.

Thursday, April 30 (6:30 - 9 pm): Northwest VEG Vancouver Potluck. Join Northwest VEG at the Clark Public Utilities Service Center, 1200 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA 98663 for this monthly event. Exit at the East Mill Plain Blvd Exit (1C), head east 0.1 miles, and it is just south on Fort Vancouver Way. [See map]. Please bring a plant-based (no animal products, including honey) main dish, salad or dessert, a card listing its ingredients, and plates and utensils for your use. If you come alone, figure the amount to serve 4-6; increase the amount 4 servings for each additional person in your party/family. Northwest VEG potlucks are alcohol-free events. For more information call (503) 224-7380 or email info@nwveg.org. If you can volunteer to help at the potluck, please contact volunteer@nwveg.org or call (503) 224-7380. This event is free. Program details to be announced soon.

Saturday, May 2 (5:30–8:30 pm): Northwest VEG Oregon City Potluck. Join Northwest VEG for our bi-monthly Oregon City potluck event. The potluck will be at the Atkinson Memorial Church, 710 6th Street. Please bring a vegan main dish, salad or dessert, a card listing its ingredients and your name, and plates and utensils for your use. If you come alone, figure the amount to serve 4–6 generously; increase the amount 4 servings for each additional person in your party/family. Northwest VEG potlucks are alcohol-free events and we start eating about 5:45. For more information, call (503) 224-7380 or email info@nwveg.org. If you can volunteer to help at the potluck, please contact volunteer@nwveg.org or call (503) 224-7380. This event is free. Watch for Potluck Program details to be announced soon!

4. Jeffrey Masson, Author of Books on Animal Emotions, Visits Portland on April 3

By Emily Pepe, Northwest VEG board member

jeffrey massonBest-selling writer Jeffrey Masson (pictured) is no stranger to animals, having written an array of popular books about their emotional lives, including When Elephants Weep. This month, we celebrate the release of his newest title, The Face on Your Plate, which examines the moral and environmental consequences of the omnivorous diet.

Masson will be giving a reading at 7:30 pm on April 3 at Powell's bookstore in Portland, NW 10th & Burnside. In anticipation of his visit, I asked him a few questions about the issues covered in his book.

Q.  Before you started writing about animals, you were best known for writing about Freud’s decision to dismiss most of his patients' accounts of childhood sexual encounters.  Did your scholarly interest in the denial of human trauma lead to your subsequent interest in animal trauma?  

A. I believe that denial is the essential defense of people who abuse children and also of people who abuse animals by consuming or otherwise exploiting them.  

Q.  Judith Herman, Carol J. Adams, and other authors have written about the sweeping psychological denial that allows trauma to continue unchecked. Do you have any advice for vegans on how to diplomatically broach the subject of diet with friends and family?

A.  Difficult. I find people more receptive to the idea that eating meat and other animal products might be harmful to their health than they are to the notion that eating animals is harmful to the health of the animals.  

Q.  What distinguishes this book from other books on veganism?

A.  I believe my chapter on denial is probably the first time there is a “psychoanalytic” view of meat-eating. I also think the chapter on aquaculture (fish farming) has much new material, or at least material that is not easy to find elsewhere in one place. I learned a great deal while doing this research. It is hard NOT to be vegan when you become aware of all the misery that eating animals or animal products produces for us, for our planet, and for the animals themselves.

Can’t make it to Masson’s talk? Check him out at www.jeffreymasson.com or in a 10-minute video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=61nRRTMTK2g

5. Let Live Foundation Advances Animal Advocacy

By Steven R. Storla, Contributing Writer

The mission of Let Live Foundation is to inspire activism for animals through community-based events that are both inclusive and inspiring. In a recent interview with Let Live Foundation board members Chad Miller and Josh Hooten, Josh said, “There are different points of entry to activism. You don’t have to be gutsy or have experience. We need to expand the concept of activism to include all forms of animal advocacy.”

The foundation sponsors a monthly activism series that keeps people thinking and interested. Talks are held the last Sunday of each month at the Portland In Defense of Animals office. All events are free (donations welcome) and typically start at 2 pm. Topics for the next two months are Effective Tabling and Leafleting (4/26/09) and Shelter/Sanctuary Stories (5/31/09). (See article #6 on the 4/26 event.)

The upcoming Let Live NW Animal Rights Conference will be a grassroots forum for people who want to learn more, share their knowledge, and work with others in the community. The theme of the June 26-28 conference on the Portland State University campus is Discovering Your Activist Qualities and will feature numerous speakers including Gene Baur of Farm Sanctuary, Erica Meier of Compassion Over Killing, and Nathan Runkle of Mercy for Animals. The main organizer is Vegans for Animal Advocacy, with support from Let Live Foundation. Conference presentations will cover topics geared toward helping current and aspiring activists discover their talents to become better advocates for the animals; 60 sessions are planned, and the admission is only $15. After the conference, mini-grants will be available for small projects costing $100 to $300 to help focus and maintain attendees’ enthusiasm.

The Let Live Foundation functions as an umbrella group or clearinghouse for many local and regional vegan activism efforts. They recently completed their application to be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. To view videos, access conference registration, and check out the monthly activism series and dates for upcoming benefit events, visit www.letlivefoundation.org.

6. Local Leafleters for Vegan Outreach to Provide Training and Prizes in April

By Emily Pepe, Northwest VEG board member

Several Vegan Outreach volunteers in Portland will be stepping up their training and recruitment efforts to prepare new leafleters for the busy spring and summer concert and festival season. 

Emily Pepe and Ramona Ilea from the PDX Leafleting Group will lead a presentation at 2 pm on Sunday, April 26, at the In Defense of Animals office, 1732 NE Alberta St., Portland. This free presentation is open to the public and sponsored by the Let Live Foundation (see article #5 in this E-Bits). Topics will include:

  • Overcoming shyness,
  • Choosing appropriate leafleting venues,
  • Understanding your target demographic,
  • Preparation of supplementary leafleting materials,
  • First Amendment rights and other legal issues, and
  • Formulating effective responses to common questions.

Additionally, the PDX Leafleting Group is offering an Internet survey to Portland and Vancouver-area activists. Prizes will be awarded to random respondents, and feedback from the survey will help the group plan future leafleting excursions and additional training seminars.

To receive a link to the survey or if you have any questions, please email PDXLeafleting-owner(at)yahoogroups.com.


7. News Bites of Late

Michelle Obama is planting a vegetable garden, the first at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden in World War II. While the organic garden will provide food for the first family, its most important role will be to educate children about healthful, locally grown fruit and vegetables at a time when obesity and diabetes have become a national concern. Learn more>>

The results of a large federal study indicate that eating red meat increases the chances of dying prematurely. The study of more than 500,000 middle-age and elderly Americans found that those who consumed the equivalent of about a small hamburger every day were more than 30% more likely to die during the 10 years they were followed. Read more>>

BOCA announced that all its products will be egg free by 2010. The announcement followed a brief campaign by Compassion Over Killing, Mercy for Animals, and the Animal Protection & Rescue League. Learn more and thank BOCA>>

8. Change Your Diet, Change the Climate

By Peter Spendelow, President, Northwest VEG

A recent study conducted by The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and scientists at Wageningen University in The Netherlands found that reducing or eliminating meat consumption can greatly reduce the cost of meeting ambitious greenhouse gas goals. The study, titled Climate benefits of changing diet, found that reducing or eliminating meat consumption could cut the cost by 50% or more for achieving greenhouse gas stabilization goals by 2050. The study also notes that a low-meat diet would improve health.

Most climate change research to date has focused on the energy and transportation sectors, while the livestock sector has not received much attention. What this study found, however, was that a global transition to eating less meat or going further to switch entirely to plant-based foods would have a huge impact on global warming. Some of the key findings include:

  • Up to 10 million square miles of land worldwide currently being used as pasture could be allowed to revert back to natural vegetation. This is an area as large as Russia and Canada combined. 
  • A net of nearly 400,000 square miles of land worldwide currently being used for growing animal feed could be allowed to revert back to natural vegetation or else used for growing biofuels. This area is larger than the states of Texas, Ohio and Illinois combined. This is after taking into account the additional land needed to grow food to replace the meat given up. 
  • As trees and other vegetation regrow on these former pasture and croplands, they will soak up huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the air and return more carbon to the soil.

Help Northwest VEG promote the environmental benefits of a plant-based diet at the upcoming Earth Day Celebration on April 25! See article on volunteer opportunities to learn more.

9. The Surprising Benefits of Mindful Eating

By Trista Cornelius, Contributing Writer

Vegetarian or vegan living gives us the opportunity to live mindfully.  Learning to eat well without meat, maybe without dairy – or any animal products – forces us to slow down and think in order to make good decisions about what we put on our plate. If we’re lucky, this mindfulness expands from our plate to other aspects of our lives, keeping us from living in a blind rush from one obligation to the next. At least, this has been my experience, especially in the beginning.

Just weeks into my veg life, my new food choices came to my rescue during a particularly challenging time at work. Jicama salad had replaced the previously standard turkey and cheese sandwich. White jicama, red peppers, and green pepitas radiated color. The zesty citrus zing and fortifying crunch left me satiated by fresh, whole food. I felt proud as I ate my lunch at my desk, spinning my chair away from the computer monitor to concentrate on the taste of lemon and basil dressing. 

A few hours later, during a tense meeting, my mind flailed at understanding and my nervous system ebbed toward panic. Then, for whatever reason, the image of my vibrant lunch came to my mind, like a boldly colored snapshot. The image reminded me of the pride I’d felt earlier. I sat up straighter, put the meeting into perspective, and endured the last 20 minutes with something closer to grace than meltdown. 

To my surprise, my veg diet grounded me during a time of confusion and tension. My new food choices loaned me some tenacity in an area seemingly unrelated to diet. Years later, each veg meal continues to provide an opportunity to slow down, remember my goals and dreams, and resolve to face with confidence whatever life flings at me—between meals.

10. Bringing Urban Farming to Historic Oregon City

By TaMara Edens, Contributing Writer

The Singer Hill CSA Gardens are a network of Oregon City urban farmers and mini-farms. (CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.) Our goal is to provide jobs to farmers while improving the health of our neighbors and our environment. Educating people on how to incorporate more seasonal and local produce into their diet is an important part of these goals.

When people purchase a subscription of produce, they are supporting a valuable trade and growing their local economy. Every week they can come to the Singer Hill Café at 623 7th St. to meet their farmer and pick up their produce, which often has been harvested only hours before. The farmers are eager to talk about their product(s).

An e-newsletter lets customers know what is coming next week and includes a few great recipes. Our new website soon will include a blog, so you can track the growing season as it unfolds. As a vegetarian chef, I will be happy to share tips with our customers on how to get families and foodies alike excited about these veggies. 

Singer Hill CSA will only practice organic farming methods and seek opportunities to incorporate permaculture principles. Care and respect for the earth and our ecosystem are a central focus while we tackle the day-to-day challenges of farming. We support our community by offering educational and volunteer opportunities to anyone interested in learning the priceless life skills of growing your own food. For more information, please contact me at tamara@singerhill.com, (503) 860-2855, or visit www.singerhillcsagarden.org.

Editor’s note: For a directory of all CSAs in the Portland area, visit http://portlandcsa.org/oregon-csa-farms.php.

11. A Challenge to Portland Restaurants: More Raw Food Options, Please

On a recent trip to California, Northwest VEG members Judith Beck and Dik Posey were enchanted by the many raw, vegan dishes they enjoyed at restaurants, including pizza, wraps, soups, desserts, and smoothies. In the Bay Area they visited Café Gratitude, which has multiple locations. In Santa Cruz they found Café La Vie; in the L.A. area they checked out Leaf Cuisine, Euphoria Loves RAWvolution, and Juliano's.

At Leaf Cuisine in Culver City, a delicious pizza involved sprouted grain crust, marinara, avocado, sun dried tomatoes, marinated onions, olives and rawmesan cheese. A Hale Kale Salad (pictured) included kale, avocado, sprouted wild rice, mung beans, tomatoes and cayenne. Visit Leaf at www.leafcuisine.com.

They noted that Café Gratitude, Juliano's and Euphoria all produce Food Prep Books, which could be "investigated" by Portland restaurants. Judith feels that Portland’s Blossoming Lotus provides good raw options and she encourages other veg restaurants to begin offering more creative raw vegan dishes, beyond salad. “Raw food is such a marvelous opportunity to grow a restaurant these days,” said Judith.

12. Gluten Free Baking Class to Benefit Try Vegan PDX
 
Try Vegan PDX, which provides mentorship and other activities benefiting people new to a plant-based diet, is offering a gluten-free baking class on Thursday evening, April 16, at 7 pm, at the Sunnyside United Methodist Church, 3250 SE Yamhill St., Portland OR, 97214. The class will teach participants the basics of gluten-free baking, explore different flours, and teach people to make cupcakes, pancakes, and biscuits. Samples will be provided. Northwest VEG member Chelsea Lincoln, vegan baker and author of the Flavorvegan blog, is teaching the class. There is a $10 fee for supplies and to benefit Try Vegan PDX.  Learn more and buy tickets >>

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